2016-17 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 58, Defiance 55
January 18, 2017
By: Jared Sleutz, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men rode a 28-16 first half lead to a hard-fought 58-55 victory over the rival Defiance College Yellow Jackets on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. Bluffton snapped a four-game skid, moving to 2-6 in the HCAC (9-6 overall) while the Yellow Jackets fell to 3-6 in the Heartland (4-12 overall).
JARED WENTLING (Carey) picked Defiance clean and threw the hammer down, putting Bluffton up 14 (39-25) early in the second half. He wasn’t done rattling the rim as his second steal in less than 30 seconds sent the high-flying sophomore to the rack for another slam at the 13:36 mark, inciting the home fans with a second thunderous dunk! An Andrew Hunter (Arlington) trifecta gave the Beavers their largest lead of the game (44-27) with 12:29 to play.
Defiance battled back from a 17-point deficit, going up 49-48 with eight minutes left to play. KEVIN CHRISTIE (Miamisburg/Bishop Fenwick) came up big with back-to-back jumpers which put the Beavers up four (54-50) before consecutive layups by Wentling sealed the deal for Bluffton.
The home team was led by Jared Wentling with 20 points, seven rebounds and a superb 10-of-16 from the field. AUSTIN ROHDE (Shelby) added 15 points and Kevin Christie stuffed the stat sheet with nine points, a career-best six rebounds and four assists for the Beavers. Rounding out the scoring was Andrew Hunter with a career-high seven points on 3-of-4 from the field, including 1-of-1 from distance.
Bluffton hit 25-of-64 from the field for 39.1 percent, compared to 22-of-59 (37.3 percent) for the Yellow Jackets. Defiance won the rebounding battle (36-43) but the home team only turned the ball over a miniscule three times, eight fewer than the Yellow Jackets. Defiance converted 7-of--23 from outside the arc (30.4 percent), while Bluffton struggled to a 3-of-18 (16.7 percent) night from distance.
Bluffton hits the road Saturday, Jan. 21, to take on the Franklin College Grizzlies in an HCAC matchup. The Grizzlies are 1-7 in the Heartland Conference (4-11 overall). Tip-off is set for 2 PM.